The Touch Bar mistake

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This morning at a special event Apple introduced what they believe to be the next big thing in laptop computing. A majority of the introduction of the new MacBook Pro was spent focused on its new Touch Bar.

I’m in the market for a new laptop. My current 2012 non-Retina MacBook Pro is starting to show its age and is significantly thicker and heavier than the new MacBook Pro which isn’t so great for carrying it around Uni.

Prices were raised across the board, and while I’m not happy about that, I won’t focus too much on why that’s bad. Simply put, previous MacBook Pro prices reflected the “Pro” part of the device already, and any increase now is just too much. Fortunately, they’ve released a “cheaper” model, which is still more pricey than the previous generation entry-level MacBook Pro, without the Touch Bar.

Regarding the Touch Bar, honestly, I don’t see much use for it at the moment. Its best feature at the moment is Touch ID for unlocking the MacBook Pro. This isn’t to say that it’ll remain this way, though. As developers implement the API, and as Apple introduce new updates to macOS we may very well see some cool uses for the Touch Bar that can’t be imagined right now. This is a big “if.” I’m torn between purchasing the base model with the Touch Bar or upgrading the model without the Touch Bar - 16GB RAM / 512GB internal storage is very appealing.

Back in 2012 when I bought my current non-Retina MacBook Pro, I talked myself out of the Retina model because of the cost savings. That’s something I’ve since regretted, as I’ve come around to not only the benefits of a Retina display but also the advantage of the thinness and lightness of the machine I didn’t buy. It was a mistake to not buy the best computer I could’ve at the time. And I’m worried that’ll happen again here if I purchase the new MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar. I mightn’t miss the Touch Bar for the first couple of years, but this laptop is likely something I’ll own for 4+ years and the Touch Bar may have increased significance in the future. One argument I’m using to talk myself out of it is that ~50% of my usage involves having my MacBook Pro connected to an external monitor with MacBook Pro out of reach, so I won’t be able to use it half of the time anyway. Right now I’m conflicted, and I just am hoping I won’t look back in a few years and say, “Well that was a mistake,” just like has happened by not purchasing a MacBook Pro without a Retina display.

Fortunately, I have a few months to make this decision. It’s a lot of money to spend, and I want to make the right one. My indecision will undoubtedly be expressed via Twitter if you’d like to follow along. 🙂